You may have heard that there are certain phases of phases in relationships. Well, there’s been a lot of research into what goes on in relationships because we really want to know what’s different about relationships that work well. If we can identify what these “successful” couples are doing differently, we can put those habits into practice ourselves. This gives our own relationships a better chance of being fulfilling, loving, and long-lasting.
Each of you has your own characteristics, thought patterns, beliefs, values and behaviors. You are two individuals, and each of you is responsible for your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. However, read on to find out what stage or phase you are in right now and what to look out for or focus on.
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Couple with children
You have chosen children. Congratulations, you must now integrate both parenting and partnership into the same time and space. Therefore, it is normal to feel tired and even drained. This phase also involves a decrease in mutual activity and an increase in nurturing and division of responsibilities.
Your individual differences often become clearer here and there is greater potential for conflict. This is understandable as this is the most tiring phase. Add to this a sharp drop in sexual activity and we are officially in the danger zone.
Extremely high romantic expectations can be a problem. Remember again that love is a behavior – feelings are fleeting, but behavior doesn’t have to be.
As in the previous stages, it all starts with your families of origin, as this is where you learned your parenting style, how tasks should be divided, how conflicts should be resolved, etc. Two styles from two families of origin may clash together. This can be accompanied by communication problems – suddenly realizing that you can no longer communicate.
Remember that you have (usually) gone through two phases to get to this point, so you have already overcome a lot, made decisions and solved problems. How did you do that back then? That’s the foundation you can now draw on.
If you’re more tired now, instead of thinking and applying skills and strategies, you may find yourself relapsing into stereotypical coping strategies (like whining and nagging). Take the time to solve problems. Nagging rarely works. Communicate openly, nonjudgmentally and honestly with each other to find out what works – what do you need from each other? How can you support and encourage each other?
If you’re really struggling, it can help to ask yourself how much marketing phase you’ve had. If you didn’t have much of it, now consciously try to get into it. Slower. Be curious about each other, fully commit to each other, and build that strong foundation.
Couple without children
Many of the issues above still play a role here, but not having children changes the game a bit. It can be easier in some ways and more difficult in others.
You can be great at communication, strategy and problem solving. However, you may not have much to communicate, work on together, or change. Check this Best Marriage Bureau for help to Better Life.
Without new energy coming into the relationship, it can become stagnant. It becomes a closed system with no outlet, which can then become vulnerable or unstable. Children automatically bring new energy into a relationship – without children you have to do this in other ways.
One way to do this is to ensure that you maintain a healthy balance between the individual and the relationship. Keep your own identity alongside the relationship. They will find that instead of being disconnected from the relationship, this nourishes them – it brings new energy. It gives you things to talk about and share, things to keep learning from each other.
In addition, it is important to do, build and explore things together. This will bring you together as bringing up children does. Do you have joint projects. Work as a partnership on something that challenges you to compromise, break through and strengthen your attachments.